‘…there’s not much there’

The friendly woman at the hostel look puzzled and slightly anxious on my behalf when I told her where I was going to spend the day. ” Kilmartin? There’s not much there…” A statement that could not be further from the truth! Kilmartin glen is absolutely stuffed with prehistoric treasures – stone circles, burial chambers, rock carvings, a wonderful independent museum (and cafe). I have been before, and am sure I will be back. Coming here always feels a bit like visiting the ancestors.

I was first and only at the stones when I arrived early, and tried to imagine what it might have been like, 5000 years ago. The glen was used certainly as a place of ceremony and possibly celebration; would there have been parties and music and fires and feasting and people meeting up with old friends and making new ones? A bit like a pre-historic Glastonbury festival?  Long before designer wellies or phones (smart or otherwise) were a glimmer in anybody’s eye.

There’s much more about the history of this special place on the museum’s website here http://www.kilmartin.org/

A whole day exploring the cairns and stones, with no rain despite the forecast. And an opportunity to look at items in the museum relating to string.   One item is a basket made from leaves of yellow iris,  a reconstruction of a fragment found in Ireland. I have harvested some of the same leaves, which are in such abundance all around, and will dry them before making a sample.



On Sunday I went exploring to try and find a rock carving beyond Carnasserie Castle at the top of the glen. I met a woman with a map, who was not too sure about following it. I had no map but a fair chance of reading one, so we teamed up together and SUCCESS! The rock was at Ormaig. I was impressed despite being spoilt by the wonderful array of carvings in Northumberland. There is a description with photos here http://www.geograph.org.uk/snippet/9355


6 thoughts on “‘…there’s not much there’

  1. Dear Stringmakerji, the picture setting is clear, and I liked the beautiful symbiosis, which I hope is fancy for joining up, of two women and a map going to the same place both dependant on something the other has. I wonder where the other woman would be now had she not come across you wandering around looking clueless and mapless and she with the map but no map reading skills. Anyhoo, what I’m not sure of yet is are you in the tent or are B&Bs your resting place of a night. But then I guess the night is so short it hardly matters. We await the next bit of bloggery with excitement.


  2. So enjoying your posts – and learning so much too, thank you! Love the ‘chance encounter’ with the lady walker. So happy it is unfolding well. Makes me think about a ball of string and how it is formed and used, both the winding and unwinding. Which end of the string are we at and whether we are winding or unwinding….. Hazy humid weather here after some hot sunny moments. Roses like dinner plates..


  3. Thanks Anna, Romi forwarded me your fab post, I shall be following you from now on.
    Strangely I was just remembering and talking about Kilmartin with a friend who visited there 2 weeks ago.
    Your trip sounds amazing.
    Wishing you all the best .
    Love Ann ( ex Northumberland Matriachial Studies Group)


  4. Fond memories of my holiday in Kilmartin with you and Jill. Looking forward to seeing your ‘sample’ from the leaves of yellow iris x


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